The Balance Beam

Good evening ladies and gentleman

What is life? What is death? Death is simply the end of life. Nothing more, nothing less. We all hear them say you only have one go around so don’t waste it. Over and over this same tired old rhetoric is passed from generation to generation, facilitating this debilitating fear that we aren’t doing enough. Life is the only path to death, but the balance beam you walk down on your way there, the steps you take are undecided and perhaps more scary- unknown. Everyday can be different, a breeze – or you could find yourself running down that train of thought through the caves, to where the lovely dark awaits, along with the voices, endlessly whispering in your ear.

If life were to be a balance beam we are all working so hard to not fall off of- what gives you the power to stay upright? Nobody is ever going to help you if you fall, they have their own issues staying balanced upon their own beam. Maybe your lines intertwine with another but each day is a separate life even when you are together. In the end you are still the architect of your own thoughts, be them to build you up or tear you down.

How do you balance your way through life? Step by step, day by day, how do we stop life from falling into the grips of a mere existence? The monotony of daily routine, actions for the same time of day, everyday, daring, hoping, yearning for something unexpected, something new, anything to just happen.


This need is so powerful and i think reminds you of who you are. It reminds you of your intelligence, your mental strength and powerful perspective, for there is always more that can be done. What is to be done? What can feed that demon in your mind, the one that tells you that you’re not good enough or that your wasting your time…the one that often shouts so loud its near impossible to ignore.

What if, in a weird sort of way that voice was helping somehow, motivating you somehow? Motivating the creative soul within you to spring into life, to pour the life giving elixir as you drink deeply from the goblet handed to you as you bite into the apple from the forbidden tree.

Creativity can give your art, your pain, your joy, your love and passion a higher meaning, a power to you like nothing else . These things need to be expressed and your life should be an expression of you, so much more so than the soul crushing monotony a mere existence can bring.

The creativity thing is probably something you’ve heard before though. I know i have, hundreds of times over, that life imitates art. So if you can offer some sort of art to the world, then maybe you contributed to the world somehow, even if only to you. Maybe everybody sees it, maybe nobody does. But its there, however painful it was to get out.

That’s the point with being creative, that it burns. It burns your heart and your soul and your gut were you to leave it inside you, building, bubbling, brewing, raring to explode. This emotion- this pain, joy, happiness and misery all rolling around as your brain cells concocts a witches potion inside your mind and you, convinced you don’t need them, can’t help to watch as they continue to stir.

How do you break the cycle you find yourself in? How does one create the balance- to stay standing?

Drink the potion. Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble…right up to the point you dip your glass in and take a good slug of the stew. As it touches your lips, you feel the oily texture start to trickle down your throat, green and foul smelling but you continue on, the witches left in a state of shock.

We have been taught as a society to avoid shock, like we need to live a predictable life in order for it to be good. In order to bring order to the chaos, to step every now and again but not far enough away to gain that sense of unfamiliarity its so easy to fear. Surprise has become nothing but a mere coincidence these days, because you missed something rather than being present in the moment before.

Drinking the fluid can create more pain than any of us can possibly imagine, so much so you imagine falling off the beam and never ever being able to regain your balance. The hurt can be unimaginable, but so can the outstanding beauty.

As you accept what you feel as something you are conscious and understanding of, even as you start to respect it, you truly become your higher self. You listen to yourself and the creativity flows with it. The release of mental ailments you didn’t know you had fall onto the page, or across the canvas with a flick of a paintbrush. Everything we have ever done, every error you have made, any victory ever achieved is a part of who looked at you in the mirror this morning. Like what you see, or hate it more than anyone else- its still you.

I’ve always wandered about the rhetoric that is often thrown about creativity, pure and undiluted in its form. That sort of higher level thinking that when you’re in that headspace- there is nothing else. There is you and the keyboard, you and the brushes, the bruises, the failures, the victories and all the pain. It’s all there, like a story of you. There’s an argument in society that this need to create in whatever capacity is almost an illness, something that breaks you away from what the world makes you. We as humans are not a result of the world around us but instead the world is a result of us as humans.

Creativity makes you different. These days, different is clearly unwell because as time goes on people all look the same and are acting the same. All influenced by someone somewhere living in a world that doesn’t exist- filtered through the starry gaze of social media. Then you have the influencers being influenced by another influencer and the cycle continues. Trends come and go and change faster than the day of the week. We are not ill because of this urge to create art, to illustrate and express pain, pleasure, beauty and sorrow. The need to express in a society telling you to keep it to yourself is the issue in hand, for without that outlet, without that gas valve to express everything building inside a clouded mind, there’d be nothing but pieces left of you.

Creativity doesn’t help you stay on the beam, creativity wont necessarily even promote joy and healthy happiness in your life. In some cases it goes much deeper, in that your art isn’t making you ill, but to lose that connection you crave and to liven without your art would be a mental death sentence. The fear of losing yourself because you don’t give yourself the chance to figure out who you are is fear beyond words.

Standing still on the balance beam is going to reduce your chances of falling, but every time you stand still you lose more ground on where you want to be. Creativity makes the walk down the beam risky, but without it- its not you. What is life without risking the fall every once in a while?

Falls give you the strength to get back up after them. To brush yourself down, wash your face and fix your hair- still work to be done. The balance beam life has you walking down, understanding and respecting that connection you have, even if to just an idea. Good, bad or indifferent in the eyes of everyone else, the act of using that energy, that power, the profound connection you have is what gets you up again and again.

Because it’s basically who you are, working towards where you want to be. There is nothing more personal than that.

Onto the feet and keep going. You’ve fallen and will fall again, but the real you can be found in the strokes of that paintbrush and on the words of the page. They live within you, if you’re willing to listen.

The Beam carries on, whether you choose to forge a path down it, peril either side. It was never about it making it to the other end, it’s about how you respond when you fall. You have to get up, because you can.

Creativity and art isn’t the key to happiness. Creativity is the key to unlocking who you want to be.

And about as brave as you could ever be.

Yours, with love.

D.R x

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